Touching Toes- Fitness Goals You’ve Achieved

Let’s face it; exercise is difficult. It takes a lot of discipline and perseverance to achieve the results that you want. Even if you hire a Chicago trainer or any other personal trainer, it is up to you to strive to reach your goal of washboard abs and toned calves. So what are the fitness goals that you have achieved? Here’s an article that tackles just that.

Physical Effects

Whether it is Pilates or other sports-related fitness activity, Chicago trainers will agree that you achieve a lot of small goals in exercise. Maybe it is touching your toes; maybe it is about finally seeing your feet. You may want to whittle down your waist, but there are a lot of other organs that you will make healthy in the process.

One of the more prominent internal organs that will get fit while you are busy exercising is your heart. It is one of the core organs that one should maintain to make sure that blood keeps circulating around the body. It makes the person functional and active in all daily activities. Other important parts of the body such as the kidneys and pancreas, allow the body to run like a well-oiled machine. Exercise definitely prevents you from fatal diseases like stroke and heart attacks. In fact, a lot of personal goals have been achieved physically, from losing the unnecessary weight to the proper maintenance of one’s physical condition.

Psychological effects

Aside from your physical body, exercise also helps you psychological. Once the person gets into the groove of exercising and maintaining a great diet, his or her confidence will also experience positive effects. Get a happy and balance lifestyle by doing exercise. It is not as horrible as you think it is. As long as you keep dogging away at it, you will certainly achieve your fitness goals.

How to Know if Your Workout Is Effective

The main reason why people exercise is to achieve weight loss and get in shape. The effectiveness of one’s workout can be measured by both external and internal results. Read on to find out how you can pinpoint the degree of your fitness plan’s success or failure.

You Fit In Your Old Clothes
This is the most obvious sign that you succeeded in your weight loss goals. If you were previously a size 34 and can now fit into your size 28 pants from 5 years ago after weeks of working out, then you deserve a pat on the back. This means that you did the right workouts and had the necessary discipline to stick to your program.

You Feel Better and Stronger
You know you have succeeded in your fitness goals if you experience a great sense of well-being and you feel much better and stronger than before. Chicago trainers and other fitness professionals would highly attest to this. You can now jog and run a few miles each day, when just few months ago, a few steps felt like excruciating hell for you. You can now lift weights and perform cardio routines without feeling helpless and breathless. Most of all, there is a gradual improvement in your heart rate, and your vital signs are all normal and healthy. Emotionally, you exhibit a calmer demeanor and you are in better control of your moods.

Of course, the one thing that every weight watcher should always have is the weighing scale. It is the most reliable equipment that would tell you if your workout succeeded or completely failed. While your Chicago trainer or any other fitness coach would say that the degree of a workout’s effectiveness is not only dependent on the weighing scale, more and more people are still turning to it because of its unquestioned accuracy.

Weight Training Myths Debunked

Weight training is surrounded by plenty of myths that people take seriously, but which have no clinical evidence or basis. In this article, we’ll debunk some of these myths and present you with the cold, hard facts.

It Causes High Blood Pressure
Many people are wary about weight lifting since they think that they might end up suffering from high blood pressure. But the truth is, it’s exactly the opposite. When you’re lifting weights, your blood pressure does increase, but it recovers and returns to normal once we are done working out.

It Makes You Put on Weight
This is one of the dilemmas of those who want to try out weight lifting. But according to fitness experts such as a trainer in Chicago, this only happens to those who suddenly stop training after a few months. If you regularly follow your training schedule, and be consistent in your workouts, you won’t gain weight. Instead, you’ll even lose some pounds!

It’s Dangerous and Can Cause Injuries
Ask any Chicago trainer or fitness coach and they would tell you that weight training is a relatively safe regimen. In fact, it is even done for rehabilitation since it can prevent and fix injuries. The only way you would injure yourself is if you are not using the proper method lifting, and if you’re using a heavier load than you can endure.

It Can Hinder Your Growth
There are many body builders that started lifting weight back when they were young, and they still grew more than 6 inches tall. Living proofs would be Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shaquille O’Neal, Lou Ferrigno, to mention some. Weight lifting does affect your growth, but in a positive way. When done in the right way, it can even stimulate growth in your bones.

It Makes You Slower
Most people think that having bulked up muscles makes one slower in terms of body movement. But there’s really no truth to this. In fact, strength training makes you even faster. Most athletes like basketball players have a dose of strength training in their regimen and it hasn’t affected their agility negatively.

Great Exercise Ball Ab Workout

They say that the most difficult body part to strengthen and tone are your abs. Anyone who has strived for a six-pack, whether successful or not, can attest its difficulty. If you live in Chicago and want better abs but can’t afford a trainer in Chicago, go with exercise ball ab workouts.

Here are a few reasons for you to go with abdominal workouts that make use of exercise balls:

Back Support

Among the many reasons why most people don’t succeed in getting six-pack is the fact that regular crunches tend to put a lot of strain on the lower back. It’s usually the strain on the back and not the abs that causes most people to give up on exercising the abdominal muscles. An exercise ball remedies this by providing more support for your back while giving you the capability to do more crunches.

Greater Variety

Exercise balls also offer a wide variety of exercises targeting the abdominal region. This gives you a lot of ways to tone your abs. Lots of people stop doing these exercises because they get tired of the routine. The many exercises that you can do with an exercise ball will help in this regard. And the great thing about this is that they can also be used to target other muscle groups.


A lot of people have to go to the gym in order to work out. However, not everyone actually has the time or the will to do so. If you have an exercise ball, then this ceases to be a problem. A wide variety of core exercises will be available to you from the comfort of your own home, simply through the use of an exercise ball.

See? There are a lot of reasons to use an exercise ball for your abs. With it, you won’t even need to look for a Chicago trainer. All you’ll need is a bit of determination to work on your exercise ball and before you know it, you’ll have the flat and sexy abdomen you’ve always wanted.

Getting Prepared to Run a Marathon

Do you do running as part of your regular fitness routine? It is not an easy feat mainly because you have to have the stamina and the persistence to cover the miles. Considered as one of the most popular form of cardio training and touted as a top choice when it comes to weight loss, most people run as a hobby. Others, on the other hand, want to take it on a higher level by running in a marathon. This is a lot more challenging, but very fulfilling for any fitness person.

Invest In the Right Gear and Brace Yourself for Training

Preparing yourself for a marathon takes a lot of sacrifice. Truth is, covering 26.2 miles is no laughing matter. This is why one should prepare and train hard before that day comes. Make sure that you invest in the proper gear as well as quality running shoes that will endure training as well as the actual race.

Chicago trainers often advise beginners to go for an achievable distance and speed. Never overestimate your capacity as it can lead to serious physical injury. Gearing yourself towards achieving the stamina and endurance needed to survive a long race is crucial.

Worthy Pre-Marathon Preparations

A Chicago trainer and or any other fitness coach will tell you that it is necessary to participate in races that cover a shorter distance such as a 10k run or a half marathon, which is about 13 miles. This is to be able to measure your own strength and endurance. Being able to cover long distances is a vital measurement of one’s physical and mental preparedness.

Cross training is also highly encouraged. This means that you should engage in other cardio routines such as swimming, cycling and skiing. This is to further get your body into perfect shape during rest periods from running. Lastly, proper diet and nutrition form part of the over-all preparation. Load up on carbohydrates and proteins as well as high-fiber veggies and fruits. Ensure that your body is fueled with ample energy and nutrients to help you finish every marathon.

5 Extreme Sports for the Thrill-Seeking Fitness

There’s a set of sporting activities that are high-risk and life-threatening if not done properly. These are extreme leisure sports, and they require significant levels of fitness in terms of endurance, muscular and limbic strength, reflex speed, agility, and flexibility. Unlike fitness regimens in gyms with your Chicago trainers, these sports don’t develop your physical fitness and athletic ability. You should already have these qualities from the get-go.

The appeal of extreme sports lies in the adrenaline rush. Of course, these activities are not for everyone. But if you’re willing to give it a shot, here are some of the most popular ones out there:

Scuba Diving, Whitewater Canoeing, and Kayaking

Some of the most enervating extreme sports are done on and under water. Deep sea scuba diving has become popular, but you need some special training from a scuba trainer in Chicago before you can do it. You also need to have the necessary equipment and learn the important techniques first, to ensure that you don’t get decompression sickness.

Canoeing and kayaking on high-grade whitewaters are also favorites among thrill-seekers, but they demand muscular coordination, hand-eye dexterity, quick reflexes, and thinking. A misstep can often be fatal as your canoe or kayak can get overturned and you would have to swim through high water current.

Mountain Rock Climbing

One of the more popular high risk sports in the great outdoors includes scaling tall mountains or rock formations. Hence, you get the term rock climbing. This is one of the most dangerous but exhilarating and fulfilling sporting activities. Climbers should have ample concentration, endurance, muscular strength, and quick reflexes. Miss out on any and you could suffer broken bones, if not death.

Skydiving and Hang Gliding

What could be riskier than being at the mercy of gravity? Most sky-borne sports like skydiving and hang gliding depend more on the reliability of your sporting equipment than your physical prowess. A failed parachute or a disabled glider will cause you to fall thousands of feet to your death.

How to Get Your Kids to Exercise

Children are generally active and love engaging in physical activities. However, because of television, the internet, and computer games, more and more children prefer to stay indoors instead of going out to play. Parents don’t have to worry though, because there are ways to coax kids to indulge in some fun and exercise. It may take a bit of time and patience, but it shouldn’t be too hard, since kids are natural “outdoor creatures” to begin with.

Buy Your Kids Some Toys Such as a Ball or Hula Hoop
Giving your kids some essential toys that encourage physical exercise is a smart move. A basketball, beach ball, or soccer ball would definitely encourage kids to move and play with their friends and siblings. Any Chicago trainer would agree that it also helps foster camaraderie and bonding among kids.

A hula hoop is very popular among girls and is very easy to use. Any kid would be encouraged to play and exercise with it even for just a few minutes each day. A kiddie bike is another great toy that doubles as exercise equipment. Of course, make sure to keep an eye on your kids while they are biking, especially if it’s outside immediate premises and in unfamiliar places such as parks and woody trails.

Start the Routines Yourself and Be the Perfect Model
Any trainer in Chicago and anywhere else would tell you that leading by example is one of the most effective techniques in order to get your kids to exercise. You should be the perfect model that your children can emulate, and this includes your lifestyle and eating habits.

Take your kids to the beach or to the park and go swimming, biking, or hiking. Exercise in the morning and encourage your kids to join you. Cultivate healthy eating habits and prepare nutritious meals for the family. Eventually, these good habits will rub off on your kids.

Best Ways to Increase Stamina at the Gym

Having a strong stamina is crucial for people who are engaged in sports and other forms of physical activity. Whether you are into weight-training or just cardio, you must be able to increase your endurance in order to cope with your regular sessions at the gym.

Benefits of Strong Stamina

Possessing high levels of stamina creates many benefits in many forms. Increased endurance means that your heart rate stays in active levels, reinforcing metabolism and burning of fat. It also helps sharpen mental abilities such as concentration and comprehension, keeping you alert and energetic. For sports-inclined individuals, a strong stamina is their ticket to winning milestones so they can excel in their game.

Increasing Stamina through Aerobic Activity

Any form of aerobic activity will greatly increase the person’s stamina. Aerobic exercises enable the body to enhance its oxygen intake. Performing aerobic activities will strengthen the muscles that support the heart. More blood is pumped into the muscles, thus increasing its volume of oxygen. Lung health is also a major factor of having a strong endurance. Because of the high amount of oxygen received by the lungs, they expand and thus become healthier. Your Chicago trainer can work with you, and guide you through various levels of aerobic activity.

Other Activities to Build Stamina

There are other activities that can help increase stamina. Hiking in the great outdoors provide a scenic way to higher levels of endurance through exposure to trees and plants that give oxygen. Your lungs will thank you for it. Another type of stamina-increasing activity is yoga, which is more of training the mind to endure the rigorous movements or poses. A trainer in Chicago can refer you to yoga classes that work best for your needs.

Adopting Healthy Eating Habits

If you are trying to increase your endurance, don’t forget to support your physical activities with the proper eating plan. Eating the right foods at the right time will boost your metabolic rate and keep your energy levels working full-time. Consume small meals 5 to 6 times a day, to control those hunger pangs.

Weightlifting Exercises for Beginners

Strength training, which is also popularly known as weight lifting, forms part of an integrated fitness program. It is famous among gym goers, because it effectively builds muscle mass and allows one to become stronger. Above all, it keeps the calories at bay and allows you to have a lean and shapely body.

Recommended Routines For Newbies

As a novice to weight lifting, it is best that you consider hiring a professional trainer or coach instead of groping around in the dark for the right combination of strength routines. Like other trainers, Chicago trainers will agree that doing so will ensure that you will be guided as  you progress with your workouts.

Some of the recommended beginner exercises include push-ups for the chest area and back extensions to tone the back muscle group. Any Chicago trainer will also recommend French press for the triceps area and dumbbell curls for biceps. Meanwhile, effective lower body routines for any beginner include calf raises. These five weightlifting routines are highly favored for novices as these are moderate and generally easy to execute and familiarize.

Important Reminders for Weightlifting Novices

Start with a warm-up session of moderate cardio workouts for at least 10-20 minutes to prepare the muscles for movement. It is advisable to do at least two routines for each muscle group. This should consist of only 1-2 sets of 8-15 repetitions, no more and no less. Beyond this recommended number, it can get highly dangerous for newbie fitness buffs that are just starting with strength training.

Fitness buffs should also concentrate on the appropriate form and should learn to improve and master the proper performance and technique of each weightlifting routine. This is vital in getting the most from strength training and avoiding injury as well. Every exercise should conclude with the proper cool-downs and a day of rest is advisable after every session.

How to Train Without Equipment

Have ever thought of life without weights? Or though about how life was before when we didn’t have treadmills or abs machines? If you ever thought that you could not train without the use of any gym equipment, then you are definitely wrong. Any trainer, even a trainer in Chicago, will be able to train you without the use of fancy gym equipment. In fact, here are some trainer tips that can help you if you cannot use gym facilities.

Adapt to your Environment

Even a Chicago trainer or any other trainer will tell you that you can train without using bulky gym. One way is by going to the playground and using benches and monkey bars. Did you know that these are an excellent when it comes to toning your core muscles? You just have to observe your environment, and you will constantly discover new ways to train yourself.

Home is Where the Heart is

Even at the privacy of your own home, it is possible for you to do certain exercises such as pushups, leg raises that do not necessarily need expensive gym equipment.  You can even rent some videos on tae-bo or hip hop for warm-ups. Not just that, working out at home means that you are able to spend more time with your loved ones. Most of the time, all you need are some exercise mats and balance balls. If you can’t resist the pull of free weights, then buy a set of dumbbells or use large cans of fruit cocktail.

Circuit Training

For athletes out there, circuit training is also perfect for those who want a quick workout without the weights. It would basically include your non-equipment exercises such as pushups, lunges, crunches and bench dips. For this type of work out, it is you against your body weight. Just make sure that there are rests in between the exercises to avoid your body from getting too sore.